Boards for Bro’s 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek
A few weeks ago we ran an article explaining what Boards for Bro’s is all about. You can check it out here. See, we had plenty of decks and wheels, but we were in desperate need of trucks, bearings, and hardware. After running the story on the site, I emailed it to some friends in the Indu$try and asked them to help out the cause.
The response was amazing. So first off I want to thank all of our friends that stepped up to help out with donations:
- Girl for the Royal trucks and Girl hardware
- Ocean Avenue Distribution for the ridiculous amount of various product
- Independent for the trucks, hardware, and grip
- Howard Montague gave us a $50 check
- DLX sent trucks and wheels
- Kevin Sullivan parted with many years of past Sheckler set-ups
Selego and Derewenko loaded up the F-350 the morning of while I helped out the Christmas shoppers in the Shop. When I returned to the back I couldn’t believe it…there were so many boards that they almost didn’t fit in the truck. I’m talking over 150 completes. We got our own shred on for a bit, Santa geared up, and then we headed to our first stop, the Bro Bowl.
I had posted signs the weekend prior in hopes to attract more people in need, but without the projects (they’ve been torn down) next to the Bro Bowl, the place is just…how can I put it? Different? Mellow? You know…there aren’t 10 kids begging to borrow and three trying to steal your skateboard anymore.
Goodwine, Jorge, and Rob met us there and it was on. After 15 minutes of handing-outs, we had barely put a dent in the pile, so it was off to the next stop. I think it’s called Desoto Park, but it’s that crappy skate park just south of Ybor with the pre-fabbed ramps on the cement slab. I had posted a sign here, too, and there were actually kids waiting for us. Santa was on a tight time schedule, so we skated for only a few minutes as the boards got into the hands of their new owners.
Then the fun part came. We had nearly 100 completes left and no more bro’s at skate spots, so we took our three-vehicle tour straight into the ghettos. We hit a few stops in North Ybor, otherwise known as College Hill. From there we crossed the railroad tracks into non-cracker territory…Robles Park.
As we approached, Derewenko asked, “Shouldn’t we just hang out here at the basketball courts?” But my plan was to drive right into the heart, so that’s what we did. I can only imagine what the locals were thinking, but we just acted like we were supposed to be there as we turned the vehicles off in the middle of the street.
Plus, we had some serious street-cred due courtesy of Mike Goodwine. He’s as gangsta’ as any hard-hitting thug in any ghetto. But honestly, we didn’t even need the street cred. I don’t care where you are in the world, but when you’re giving away free skateboards to whomever wants them, you’re befriended by all. We were laughing with the little kids and high-fiving the brothers that were mean-muggin’ us only minutes before.
Santa was a huge hit and was even asked to hold a few babies for photo ops. I doubt that those little ones were making it to International Mall this year. The scene wasn’t pretty, but I like to think that we brought some additional cheer to kids that might not be getting the most expensive of gifts this year.
The boards were gone, the tailgate was placed back in the ‘up’ position, and the topper was shut. We drove on out with Sirius blasting Channel 40, Hip Hop Nation, when one fella’ in his 40’s stopped us. He looked like he had been lifting weights on that same street since he was a teenager as he pounded his chest with his fist and yelled, “Thanks for what you did for these kids!”
Then the guys behind him that were sitting in chairs drinking beer and smoking cigs told us, “Merry Christmas.” We waved and nodded to our new friends in Robles Park.
The next day I was running errands in Hyde Park, which let me tell you, is worlds apart from Robles Park. As we walked into Walgreens there sat two boards that we had given out only 24 hours prior. I found the kids inside and they told me that their cousins had given the boards to them.
Talk about a feeling of satisfaction.
Our day started off at our favorite ghetto spot, the Bro Bowl. Look at that skateboard stack in the back of the truck. Within an hour, we had given all those boards out for Boards for Bro's
Mr. Sharp Dressed Man went for a dive to get a board. Turns out he actually skates
After that we just drove around through the hood and stopped whenever we saw kids hanging out. This kid is ditching the bike for a new found love
I hope skateboarding has the same effect on these kids' lives as it has had on mine
This neighborhood appeared super sketchy, but everyone was super nice and stoked at all the boards we were giving out
The sun has gone down, and it's time for the SPoT Ghetto Chrismas Party. This crew got it started at Schaefer's new Ybor City pad